Gail Horalek, a parent in Northville, Michigan, filed a formal complaint with the local School Board after her 7th Grade daughter was assigned to read “Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl.” The book is a diary written by a teenaged Anne Frank while she and her family were hiding from the Nazis in Holland during WWII. They were eventually discovered and Anne perished in a Nazi concentration camp. Her writings have been translated into over 60 languages and the book is often cited as one of the most important of the 20th century.
The most recent unedited version of the book contains a passage which Horalek, in her own words, has described as follows: “It’s pretty graphic, and it’s pretty pornographic for 7th Grade boys and girls to be reading.”
This is the passage in question:
Until I was eleven or twelve, I didn’t realize there was a second set of labia on the inside, since you couldn’t see them. What’s even funnier is that I thought urine came out of the clitoris … When you’re standing up, all you see from the front is hair. Between your legs there are two soft, cushiony things, also covered with hair, which press together when you’re standing, so you can’t see what’s inside. They separate when you sit down and they’re very red and quite fleshy on the inside. In the upper part, between the outer labia, there’s a fold of skin that, on second thought, looks like a kind of blister. That’s the clitoris.
To be fair, Horalek would prefer that the school assign an earlier version of Anne Frank’s Diary to the kids. Otto Frank, Anne’s father, edited out some of the “controversial” passages from the original diaries and only later was a fuller version published which included passages critical of her family and reflective of her budding sexuality. There’s no indication that Horalek is anti-Semitic – only that she has chosen her words poorly. Calling the passage above “pornographic” was a big mistake and I am sure that if she could, Horalek would take it back. You’d have to be one heck of a twisted and warped person to be sexually titillated by anything contained in Anne Frank’s diary.
As for Horalek’s daughter reading these passages – clearly 7th grade is no time to be learning about human sexuality. The best time for that is in the 11th grade after you have given birth in a toilet.
Anyhow, the principal, the teacher and the School board are going to discuss it further so stay tuned I guess. Some resolution should be announced within 2 weeks.